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New Grant Supports Gynecologic Cancer

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded a prestigious Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant to researchers at the Siteman Cancer Center and Washington University School of Medicine. The three-year grant funds research in endometrial cancer, which is a cancer that originates in the uterine lining. In addition to studying the causes of endometrial cancer, the project also focuses on strategies for preventing the disease and for the development of new treatment approaches.

For Paul Goodfellow, PhD, and David Mutch, MD, leaders of the SPORE team, the award demonstrates a commitment to what these investigators describe as a seriously underfunded area of women’s cancer research.

"Endometrial carcinoma is the ‘orphan’ disease of gynecological oncology, despite the fact that its incidence is rising every year and its mortality increasing," says Goodfellow.

"Endometrial cancer has been sorely understudied, even though it is the fourth most common cancer in American women with 40,000 cases diagnosed yearly and more than 7,000 women dying annually from the disease."

He adds, "That’s almost twice as many as die of cervical cancer. Currently, if a woman’s endometrial cancer recurs, there are very few effective chemotherapy treatments available to her."

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